South Africa's mall shopping culture diverse


“The aim of the survey [is that] we saw there’s very little information of shoppers. There’s a lot on consumers, a lot on media, but to actually see what people do at point of purchase, there’s good quantitative data on what they do,” Kerry Chipp from the Gordon Institute of Business Science (GIBS), told CNBC Africa.

“To my surprise, I actually found that a lot of in-mall advertising works, because you often feel there’s so much advertising and people block it out, but at point of purchase, people are rushed, people are deal pro and they like to see deals and at that point. McKinsey calls it ‘just in time advertising’. Intervening then is very effective, and it gets their attention and they buy.”

According to the survey, in-mall marketing activities also play a far larger role in unplanned purchases than advertising does.


Chipp added that it is therefore important for retailers to stimulate more purchase at ‘the last mile,’ just as the consumer is about to buy. She explained that there were however different consumer types who would therefore require different selling tactics.

(READ MORE: Brand marketing starts with the consumer)

“What was interesting was the business shopper: they’re not going there to shop, they’re going there for a business meeting. They are the online people, [and] when they say ‘we usually go online’ they [do] and go global, to Amazon, eBay, they don’t go Kalahari and Zando,” Chipp explained.

“When they’re in the mall, there’s a lot of opportunistic shopping. Only one per cent of people who came for a business meeting just did the business meeting [and not shop], which was very interesting. [Others] will make use of that opportunity [of being in the mall], which means they are not price sensitive at all.”

In last year’s survey, it was discovered that some shoppers did not want to have to look for items in a store, which meant that certain products had to be placed in easily available locations to increase their chances of purchase. The strategic placing would also influence the consumer to purchase more than intended.

(READ MORE: Response to the consumer crucial to a company’s success)

Chipp added that going to the mall in this day and age has also evolved from not only shopping but to business meetings, dining and even temporary spaces of work.

“We found a big difference between what we call super regional malls, [that have] a massive footprint like Sandton City, and regional malls, which have a much smaller catchment area,” Chipp explained.

“You go to the small mall because you want to run in and grab something. Whereas your Sandton City malls, I’m going there for the experience. [Consumers] want a wide variety of shops, entertainment options and they want options for their kids to do something.”